Sunday, September 13, 2009
Whales, Winds and Wrens
This weekend I had arranged to take a couple of visitors (Peter and Margaret Swan from Scotland) out and show them some of our wildlife. Earlier in the week someone had mentioned that the whales at Victor Harbour were being very co-operative so I decided to try them. So on Friday morning we headed south and went to Basham Beach a few Km east of Victor. (This shot was taken using my new lens). The forecast was for hot winds from the north, and they weren't wrong. We had winds of 60kph (37mph) gusting up to 90 kph (55 mph). This made whale watching "interesting" and birding virtually impossible!! But the whales were very co-operative, and when we arrived there were two adults and two calves very close into the shore. As we watched we picked up many more whales further out. I estimate at least a dozen, ranging from 30m to 300m from shore. After whale watching we headed east to Goolwa to look for migrant waders (shorebirds) on Hindmarsh Island, but it was far too windy and also a little early in the season so we saw very few. We did see a couple of very smart Caspian Terns though. On the way home we called in at Laratinga Wetlands, but the water levels were too high to spot any crakes. We did see three Australian Shoveller which I hadn't seen here before. And as the wind died down as evening approached, the bird song started, and we saw lots of Superb Fairywrens. This shot of a female was about the best I managed.